Either of these are impressive stats, but the most important figure is 70,000. That's the number of paying subscribers to Spotify after only the first week that it was available in the US.
Some see paid subscription like this as the savior of the music biz, while others see it as just another boulder pulling it down. On the one hand, if there are enough paid subscribers, the music business could be considered healthy again. A round number thrown about is 100 million at $10 per month, which comes out to $12 billion a year. While this might be great for the major labels, it's yet to be determined just how much of that the artists, publishers, and indies will see. If history holds true, it will be a pittance as always.
Spotify expects to have 50 million users in the US within an year. How many of those will be subscribers? If today's numbers stay on course that only amounts to 3.5 million users, well below projected 100 million. Then again, if Apple supplements its soon to be launched iCloud with some sort of streaming subscription service, those numbers just may be within reach.
Once again, this is still probably not great news for the artist, since the streaming royalty rate is so small ($.0012 - or about a tenth of a cent per stream) that an artist with a giant hit may only expect enough money to buy a nice dinner, if that. Another example of Music 3.0, and why an artist's supplemental income is so important.
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